In the mid-1930s, as the Communist Party in the United States attempted to navigate a complex process of self-definition, the inclusion of women in politics reflected the Party’s negotiations with regards to group identity. While working women during this time underwent their own process of self-realization, the Communist Party used them largely as a symbol for party values, and a yardstick by which to measure progress. In these issues published between 1929 and 2937, of which this is the last, the contradiction between emerging Communist ideals and traditions of sexism in the United States can be seen.
The Art Front was a magazine first published by the Artists Union of New York as a response to Nelson Rockefeller’s destruction of a mural by Diego Rivera in 1934. Politically, the Artists Union and the magazine were aligned with the Communist Party in the United States, and the Union emerged largely as a way to provide financial relief for artists during the Great Depression Era. The magazine itself consisted of just 25 issues, and was created by just 16 writers. This issue was the last of the 25, published in 1937. The three articles in it cover the intersection of art and politics in China, a “revival” in printmaking, and the Labor Pavillion at the upcoming World Fair